As I have mentioned before, Sid: The Handsome Bum, is, above all, a collaborative piece.
What does collaboration exactly entail? Well that is something this little group of creative minds had to decide. At the start it was just Joanna and I, sitting at St. Augustine’s on Commercial, a couple drinks and a meal in, discussing what the word meant.
I told Joanna that I wanted a group of individuals who were invested in this project. That sounds fair enough to hope for for any project that you put your heart into. And yet, I am an unknown writer, with no accolades. So why would anyone want to do this piece? My piece. How could it become our piece?
With Shakespeare, you work with the text. Mamet the same. Pretty much any known writer has been produced a dozen different ways and the words on the page are golden. This was not so for Sid. Sid had never been performed before, let alone gotten on its feet. The only voice for Sid in my head, was a variation of me. So I decided I had to take a leap and put my trust in brilliant hands. Joanna and I both agreed that this project would be a collaborative effort, which meant, that the script was not golden until we all believed it was.
This meant tearing the script limb from limb, restructuring, cutting, resurrecting a Frankenstein, killing a few of my “babies” along the way to make way for sense, logic, flow, new characters, specification, action, all wonderful, beyond my wildest dreams stuff. You can sit and fawn over a script for three years like I did, but let me tell you, in a day, in a room brimming full of creative zealots, new ideas break time tested lines and rules decay under the weight of a “lightning struck” thought. And though at times it was tough and heartbreaking and frustrating and AAHHHHHHH! I am so, so, so lucky and suggest to anyone, set aside ego, creative Oedipiusness and simply let them dress you up, makeup and all and see what new beauty walks the runway. Never let go of your point, of your key notes, your favourite lines, but listen, reconsider and reinvent. Trust me, in the end, you will be as in awe as I am. I haven’t even seen it yet.